FOR RESERVATIONS, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL
Contact: Emannuel Krova
Telephone: +62 (0) 823-5912-5613
Address: Lamalera, Lembata
Room rate: IDR 100.000 (including breakfast)
From Lewoleba, Lamalera can be accessed by car, motorbike, bis (public bus transport) and autokol (public truck transport) within three to four hours. Make sure to bring food and water, as the trip takes several hours and may not stop
Lewoleba – Lamalera (around 3 – 4 hours): daily departure at 12am and 1pm
Lamalera – Lewoleba (around 3 – 4 hours): daily departure at 3am, 5am, 6am, 3pm
- Price: IDR 30.000 per person
Ojeks (motor taxi) can also be hired for transport to Lamalera for approximately IDR 150.000 per person. Alternatively, a scooter or car can be rented in Lewoleba.
Please be aware that local transport often runs late and that the provided prices may increase in the future due to the rising costs of petrol on the island of Lembata.
Lamalera lies on the southern coast of Lembata, approximately 50km from Lembata’s capital, Lewoleba. This village, of more than 2.000 people, is most famous for its whale hunting, as it is one of the last traditional whaling communities in the world. The people of Lembata have been hunting whales in the Sawu Sea, a migratory route for different whale species and other large sea life, for nearly 600 years. Lamalera’s ancient beliefs, use of traditional hunting methods and reliance on whaling as a pivotal food source and barter item have exempt the village from the international ban on whaling. The whale meat, as well as that of the manta rays, sharks and dolphins that they also catch, is traded in the local barter market for fruits and vegetables that are grown in other parts of the island. Visitors are drawn to Lamalera’s unique culture and authentic lifestyle, which has continued largely unchanged for centuries.
For more information, please visit:
Four Lamalera families have joined the homestay network. Their houses provide comfortable private rooms which include a mattress, mosquito net and lockable door. Other amenities vary depending on the homestay. The bathroom facilities are shared and are either located behind or within the houses. They feature a traditional squatter toilet and bucket shower. Electricity is provided from 6pm until 12am daily.
Breakfast is included in the price of your stay. Additional meals can be purchased for 25.000 IDR per meal. You may also help in preparing your meal with your host! Depending on availability, the homestay hosts may serve whale, dolphin, manta or shark. If you do not wish to eat these please inform your homestay host. If you have any other food preferences (e.g. vegetarian) or allergies, please let us know upon reservation.
- Hand woven sarongs and scarves
- Traditional boat models
- Scrimshaw jewelry
More info to come!
Whale Hunting Excursion
When a whale pod is spotted out in the sea, the whole village of Lamalera is in uproar and the whalers quickly ready their boats and gear for the hunt. A troupe of boats, each with a crew of 7 to 14 helmsmen, oarsman and harpooners, leaves Lamalera Bay and spreads out across the sea. When the boats come upon a whale, the harpooner, Lamafa, jumps from the bow, stabbing the harpoon into the whale using his body weight to add further force to the blow. This is by far the most dangerous job and requires the highest bravery and skill. More harpoons are then thrown from the boats in an effort to keep the whale at the water’s surface, while the spinal cord is cut for the kill. If successful, the whale is towed back to Lamalera Beach and the meat is distributed among the village members. A simple description cannot convey the tension, emotion, and adrenaline rush that is felt on this outing. The crewmen put themselves in harm’s way and risk their lives hunting and capturing these large sea animals to continue tradition and provide for their village.
Visitors to Lamalera are offered the unique opportunity to observe this long standing tradition by boat. For safety reasons, visitors wishing to observe Lamalera’s whale hunting will join the boats that tow and assist the main hunting boats. Please note that whale hunting season lasts from May until October each year. Even at this time, there is no guarantee that whales will be spotted during your stay in Lamalera and the sightings are often spontaneous. Additionally, there is no predetermined duration for this excursion, as it is dependent on the needs of the whalers. Be sure to bring snacks and water, as the trip may last for hours.
- IDR 150.000 per person
- 1.500.000 for a team of photographers, filmmakers, and journalists
Contact: Rafael Beding
+62 (0) 822-6616-1791
+62 (0) 822-3621-0453
Lamalera Beach (Pantai Lamalera)
Lamalera Beach is located at the center of Lamalera and represents an important cultural hub for the town. The beach is lined with traditional boat houses, fishing equipment, whale skeletons and drying seafood. This beach, featured on the BBC’s Human Planet and another upcoming BBC documentry, is the launching point for the traditional whale hunting, so famous to the region. When a whale is caught, it is towed back to Lamalera Beach, where it is cut up and distributed among the village for food and trade in the local barter market. The beach is a great location to see the whales, crew and traditional boats and watch as the community comes together to share one of its most important and treasured natural resources.
Directions: Lamalera Beach is located in a small bay at the center of town and situated along the main road. Two entrances leading down to the beach are located in close proximity to Homestay Fermina, one of our four homestays in Lamalera.
The Barter Market
More info on its way!
Lamaliang Beach (Pantai Lamaliang)
Lamaliang beach is a small black-sand beach surrounded by rocky shores, approximately 40 minutes’ walk from the center of Lamalera. The sea is rough and rocky and not suitable for swimming or snorkeling but its location away from town provides visitors with a remote, quiet location from which to enjoy the wild southern coast line of Lembata. During your visit, you may also follow a foot path to a large cave where thousands of bats rest during the day. As an Eco-friendly tourism organization, we ask the visitors do not disturb the bats during the daylight hours. Those hoping to see the bats should wait until sunset, as the bats leave in swarms from the cave to hunt through the night. Additionally, Lamalera’s oldest graveyard is located to the left of the beach. This small graveyard features the traditional above-ground tombs seen throughout Lembata and Flores. A ceremony to commemorate the dead is held annually at dusk on the 2nd of November with candlelit chanting and prayer.
Directions: From Lamalera beach take the main road to the right towards Lamalera B. Follow this road, keeping right at the large fork, until you reach a sharp curve which leads down a steep hill. At the bottom turn right onto the unpaved footpath and follow it until you reach the cave. The sand beach is short walk along rocky portion of the beach to the right.
This Code of Conduct was established together with the homestay families and members of the community. All visitors to the homestays should follow these rules. Thank you for your understanding!
- Visitors must register in the village guest book upon arrival.
- Visitors should cover up appropriately during their stay in Lembata (please see the section below on suggested clothing).
- In traditional villages visitors must wear a t-shirt and a swimming shorts on the beach. In remote locations, it is ok to for women to wear bikinis, etc.
- Visitors should not give children money. If tourists wish to give food to children they must ask an adult for permission.
- If travelling as a couple, visitors should state that they are already engaged (bertunangan) to avoid being placed in separate rooms or to be turned away.
- Being intimate/ showing affection (e.g. kissing) should be avoided in public areas and in the homestay.
- Visitors may enter the local church and take photos as long as mass is not being held. During Sunday mass, only Christian visitors are allowed to enter the church. Visitors must wear appropriate clothing (please see the section below on suggested clothing).
- When walking through a group it is polite to say permisi while bowing and walking through with your right hand held downwards in front of you.
- Always give, pass and accept objects with the right hand.
- During meals it is considered impolite to wear a hat.
- During meals it is considered impolite to cough. If coughing, please say permisi (excuse me) and leave the table.
- It is considered impolite to eat with crossed legs.
- Visitors should always be friendly and open towards the locals and respect the local traditions.
- Shoulders and stomachs must be covered, as well as the chest until the collar bone and the legs until the knees.
- When visiting the local church, all visitors must cover their shoulders and stomachs and wear trousers/sarongs reaching below the knees.